For some reason which is completely opaque to me, a lot of Portlanders seem to be very sniffy about the State Fair. This is their loss but your gain, as I-5 remains clear and you can get there in an hour. You can easily spend an entire day at the fair and still only experience a fraction of what it has to offer. This includes:
- Large numbers of extremely cute animals.
- Remarkable displays of talent, skill and craftsmanship from across the age range and from across the state; everything from horsemanship and cake decorating to welding and poetry.
- Special exhibitions – last year we had animatronic dinosaurs, this year everything from samurai lego to a Civil War reenactment.
- Lots of fun activities and competitions for children, such as sheep-riding and melon-seed spitting.
- Fair food! Don’t pretend like you don’t want a walla-walla onion flower or an elephant’s ear – you’re not fooling anyone.
- Demos of literally hundreds of gadgets you had no idea existed and you have no possible use for. Oddly captivating, though.
- A chairlift from one end of the fair to the other, offering great views.
- A huge fun fair of carnival rides and games.
2330 17th Street NE, Salem, OR [Google map]